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Rio 2016: Your Portuguese Phrasebook for the Summer Olympics

Visiting Rio? Don’t forget to download our gay guide to the Rio Olympics!

Any seasoned world traveller will tell you it’s important to know the language. In Brazil, they speak Portuguese (not Spanish!) — and since you don’t have time to become fluent before the Olympics, here are some useful phrases to know. Of course, you’ll want to have a travel dictionary or app to help fill in the blanks, but this guide will get you started.

Help With Language

I can’t speak Portuguese. — Não falo [bem] português. (NOWNG FAH-loo [bay(n)] poor-too-GEHZH)

Do you speak English? — Fala inglês? (fah-la in-GLAYS?)

I don’t understand — Não compreendo/entendo (NOWNG kom-pree-EN-doo/en-TEN-doo)

Common Words

Please — Por favor (pohr fah-VOHR)

Thank you (said by a man) — Obrigado (ob-ree-GAH-doo)

Thank you (said by a woman) — Obrigada (ob-ree-GAH-dah)

Yes – Sim. (SIN(G))

No — Não. (NAWN(G))

None of something, i.e. “no dogs” – Nenhum(a) (neh-NYOONG(-ah))

Excuse me (to get attention) – Com licença (kong lee-SEN-sa)

Excuse me (to beg one’s pardon) – [Me] desculpe (mee jees-KUW-pah)

I’m sorry – Desculpa (deesh-KUL-pah)

Help! – Socorro! (soo-KOH-hoo!)


Good day — Bom dia (bon JEE-ah)

Hello (informal) — Olá (O-lah)

Hi (informal) — Oi (O-ee)

How are you? (Formal) — Como está? (KOH-moh ish-TAH?)

How are you? (Informal) — Tudo bem? (TOO-do BENG?)

What is your name? — Qual é o seu nome? (kwahl eh oh SAY-oo NOH-mee?)

My name is ____ — Meu nome é ______ .(MAY-oo NOH-mee eh _____ .)

Nice to meet you — Muito prazer [em conhecê-lo]. (MOOY-to prah-ZEHR eng koh-nye-SEH-lo)

Good afternoon — Boa tarde (boh-AH TAR-jay)

Good Evening — Boa noite (bo-AH NOI-chee)

Goodbye (formal) — Adeus (uh-DEOOSH)

Goodbye (informal) — Tchau (CHOW)


Where is the bathroom? — Onde é o banheiro? (OND-jee eh o bahn-YAIR-row?)

I need your help. — Preciso da sua ajuda. (preh-SEE-zoo dah SOO-ah ah-ZHOO-dah)

It’s an emergency. — É uma emergência. (EH oo-mah eh-mer-ZHENG-see-ah)

I’m lost (man/woman) — Estou perdido/…da. (STOW per-JEE-doo/dah)

May I use your phone? — Posso usar o seu telefone? (POH-soo oo-ZAR oo seoo teh-leh-FOW-nee?)


Leave me alone. — Me deixe em paz. (meh DEY-sheh eng PAHS)

Don’t touch me! — Não me toque! (NOWNG meh TOH-keh!)

I’ll call the police. — Eu chamo a polícia. (AY-oo SHAH-moo a poh-LEE-see-ah)

Police! — Polícia! (poh-LEE-see-ah!)

Stop! Thief! — Pára! Ladrão! (PAH-rah! lah-DROWNG!)

I lost my bag. — Perdi a minha mala [bolsa]. (per-JEE a meen-yah MAH-lah)

I lost my wallet — Perdi a minha carteira.(per-JEE ah MEE-nyah cahr-TAY-rah)


I’m sick. — Estou doente. (is-TOW doo-AYN-chee)

I’m injured (man/woman). — Estou ferido/da. (is-TOW feh-REE-doo/dah)

I need a doctor. — Preciso de um médico. (preh-SEE-zoo deh oong MEH-dee-koo)


Where does this train/bus go? — Para onde vai o trem/ônibus? (PAH-rah OHN-deh(zhee) vai oh(oo) trehm/aw-NEE-boos?)

How much is a ticket to _____? — Quanto custa uma passagem para_____? (KWAHN-toh(too) KOOS-tah OO-mah pah-SAH-zheng PAH-rah_____?)

One ticket to _____, please. — Uma passagem _____, por favor. (OO-mah pah-SAH-zheng_____, poor fah-VOHR / pohr fah-VOHR)

Where is the train/bus to ____? — Onde é o trem/ônibus para_____? (OHN-deh(zhee) EH oh(oo)trehm/aw-NEE-boos PAH-rah_____?)

How do I get to ____? — Como vou _____ ? (KOH-moh vow) or Como chego _____ ? (KOH-moh SHAY-goh)

Can you show me on the map? — Pode me mostrar no mapa? (PAW-djee mee mo-STRAR noo MAH-pah?)

Turn left. — Vire à esquerda. (VEER ah esh-KEHR-dah)

Turn right. — Vire à direita. (VEER ah dee-RAY-tah / jee-RAY-tah (Rio))

straight ahead — sempre em frente (Sempr’ eim FREN-chee)

North — norte (NOHR-chee)

South — sul (sool)

East — leste (LESH-chee)

West — oeste (oh-EHS-chee)


You’re really handsome/beautiful. – Você é muito lindo/a. (voh-seh eh moh-ee-toh leen-doh/dah.)

May I have a cigarette? — Posso ter um cigarro? (POS-so chee un cee-GAH?)

Can I buy you a drink? — Posso te pagar uma bebida? (POS-so chee pa-GAR ooma beh-BI-da)

You have very pretty eyes. — Você tem olhos muito bonitos. (voh-seh tang ohl-yooz moh-ee-toh boo-nee-tooz.)

I really like you. — Gosto muito de você. (goh-stoo moh-ee-toh jee voh-seh.)

Do you want to dance? — Quer dançar? (keh dahn-sah?)

Will you give me your phone number? — Me dá o seu número de telefone? (mee dah ooh seh-ooh noo-meh-roh jee teh-leh-foh-nee?)

What are you doing tomorrow? — O que vai fazer amanhã? (ooh kee vah-ee fah-zeh ah-mahn-yah?)

Give me a kiss. — Me dá um beijo. (mee dah oong bay-zhoh.)

(Featured image via Alobos Life/Flickr)